Sliding doors make it easy to enjoy your backyard or patio whenever you feel like it, but the wonders of the outside world may be marred slightly if you find yourself having to strain to get the door opened and closed properly. If your sliding door is sticking and malfunctioning, here are a few potential solutions to fix the problem.
Doors Can Stick Due To Plain Old Dirt
The cheapest and easiest fix for your sticky sliding door may be a simple cleaning. Many homeowners simply don't think of their sliding door's track when they tidy up their home, so dirt can grime from outside can get caked on over time. Once the buildup is significant, it can clog up the track, making it difficult for the wheels to fit through smoothly.
To get rid of stuck-on dirt, just use a small bristle brush and some soapy water. Scrub the track thoroughly and give the door a slide back and forth to see if the problem is gone. Really difficult gunk may need to soak in bleach or another household cleaner before you can remove it. Once you're sure the stickiness is gone, leave your door open to let the track dry out and prevent mold from growing in the trapped moisture.
Wood Frames May Be Warped Out Of Shape
If your sliding door has a wooden frame around the glass, your problem might be caused by excess humidity and temperature shifts, which can cause the wood to swell up or bend out of shape and no longer slide easily down the track. Try examining your door from above and from the end to see if you can spot places where the wood appears to bow out and stick against the track.
Warped frames ultimately will need to be replaced for a long-term solution, ideally with an upgrade to a more weather-resistant material like vinyl or steel. In the mean time, you can eliminate sticking in the short term by sanding down all the places where the wood is misshapen until it fits smoothly back into the track.
The Door's Wheels Could Be Out Of Alignment
Sliding doors can sometimes be bumped or jostled in such a way as to cause the rolling wheels to come out of alignment inside the track. If your door doesn't have a small, even gap between the track and the bottom of the frame, you may need to locate the adjustment screws for the wheels and lift it back into place manually.
Once you find the screws located along the door's bottom edges, simply tighten or loosen them until the door appears level and is lifted slightly up off of the track. Then, give it a slide back and forth to confirm that it glides smoothly into place.
If none of these solutions fix your troublesome door, it's possible the wheels or mechanism are damaged, and you may need to call a professional to help you fix it. Fortunately, most repairs are quick and simple for someone with the right tools, so you can still get your sliding door working again in a jiffy.
For more information, contact Cheaper Window Glass or a similar company.
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